Trending Flowers for 2023: Baroque Flowers, Poetic Blossoms, and Wild Weeds

Selecting trending flowers for the year ahead is a way to think about bringing nature even closer to us. In Edible Flowers, I wrote about the impulse that leads our interactions with flowers, one which compels us beyond the ornamental and embraces the whole of a flower: its history, its presence, and its taste. According to a selection of chefs, florists, growers, writers, and artists, our quotidian interactions with flowers will both increase and deepen in unexpected ways in the coming months.

For the last few years, we bought tulips at corner stores as often as a carton of oat milk, watching them droop predictably. We’ve seen rigid waxy blooms in asymmetrical vases sit obediently on sculptural side tables. But as the year turns, we’re seeing flowers take up even more space, creeping up minimal walls and across tablescapes, as the head of design at Laura Ashley reiterates. She suspects a noticeable shift toward floral themed home decor, suggesting that flowers will play a more significant role “as people choose the simplicity of happiness that comes from nature.” Of the flowers we bring into our homes, the novelist Molly Prentiss suggests that “we are moving past the stiff, tropical blooms, past the prim whites and graphic tulips, and moving toward softness, tenderness, whimsy, and wildness.” 

Romy St Clair and Iona Scott-Mathieson of Sage Flowers in the UK echo this sentiment, pointing out how dyed flowers, like pampas grass and Gypsophila, are on the outs as amazing flower breeding comes through. Collectively, our desire for a sense of place has grown as our awareness of native and organic growing practices deepens. “There is power in a locally grown wildflower which asks us to accept the beauty of their imperfections,” adds Anouck Bertin, who outgrew her home garden in the last year, and is now growing a variety of flowers in municipal garden plots in Pasadena, California, through Drive by Flora. In southern Sweden, Mette Helbæk incorporates edible wildflowers into dishes and herbal tinctures at the regenerative farm and resort Stedsans. “More and more people will feel less of a need to cut fresh flowers only to let them die slowly in a vase,” she explains. “They will let them wither with grace and have them as a fond memory of warmer days throughout the cold and dark months.”

I spoke with 16 people who hold flowers close in their lives to find out what we’ll see more of in 2023—ranging from the baroque to the poetic, each flower is a conversation starter. In this piece you’ll find a bouquet of ideas to liven up arrangements and broaden your interaction with flowers in the coming year. And while you’re here, revisit our 2022 predictions for flowers of the year.

Iceland Poppies    

Steve O’Shea, founder of 3 Porch Farm in Comer, Georgia, nominates the Iceland Poppy as the flower of the year for 2023. He highlights the unexpected longevity of the flower (they can last up to a week) and the delight of each phase of its blooming process, which he likens to a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. “Even the dropping of petals one by one has a beauty to it. It’s a dynamic visual experience in the lifecycle of one flower,” Steve adds. Molly cosigns this pick, noting that “the snake-y, light-seeking, curveball stems of the Iceland poppy—and those happy, crepe-paper petals—are bringing the authentic charm we’re all looking for.” 

Poetic blossoms and baroque flowers

Even though a single poppy could twist and dance in a vase without much help from other flowers, there is also beauty in repetition, and a growing interest in the romance of more classic flowers like peonies, mums, and common daisies. “Peonies are a magic flower because they can be harvested when they’re in bud and stored for months, and then as soon as you put the stem in water, the flower will open into a gigantic, frilly, delicious blossom,” explains Michael Woodcock of Pretend Plants and Flowers. “Some of the lesser known varieties have two-tone petals, some open up to reveal massive pom-poms, some change color as they open up.”